Ellen Glasgow Quotes

Ellen Glasgow Quote

Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945) was an American novelist and essayist. She was born in Richmond, Virginia, into a prominent Southern family. Glasgow began writing at a young age and published her first novel, “The Descendant,” in 1897. She went on to write over 20 novels, as well as numerous essays and short stories.

Glasgow’s writing often explored the social and political issues of the South, including racism, gender roles, and class inequality. Her work was highly regarded for its realistic and nuanced portrayal of Southern life and culture, and she was one of the first Southern writers to receive national recognition.

Glasgow won numerous awards for her writing, including the Pulitzer Prize for her novel “In This Our Life” in 1942. She was also a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Glasgow was a pioneering figure in American literature and played an important role in the development of Southern literature. Her legacy continues to be celebrated today, and her work remains an important contribution to the literary canon of the United States.

Famous Ellen Glasgow Quotes

1. “All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.”

2. “There is no support so strong as the strength that enables one to stand alone.”

3. “Life is never what one dreams. It is seldom what one desires, but for the vital spirit and the eager mind, the future will always hold the search for buried treasure and the possibility of high adventure.”

4. “What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens.”

“What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens. - Ellen Glasgow

5. “Nothing in life is so hard that you can’t make it easier by the way you take it.”

6. “The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions.”

7. “What fools people are when they think they can make two lives belong together by saying words over them.”

8. “It is only by knowing how little life has in store for us that we are able to look on the bright side and avoid disappointment.”

9. “I’m not going to lie down and let trouble walk over me.”

10. “The hardest thing for me is the sense of impermanence. All passes; nothing returns.”

11. “Nothing is more consuming, or more illogical, than the desire for remembrance.”

12. “But, of course only morons would ever think or speak of themselves as intellectuals. That’s why they all look so sad.”

13. “Women like to sit down with trouble – as if it were knitting.”

14. “She must face her grief where the struggle is always hardest-in the place where each trivial object is attended by pleasant memories.”

15. “It is lovely, when I forget all birthdays, including my own, to find that somebody remembers me.”

16. “The government’s like a mule, it’s slow and it’s sure; it’s slow to turn, and it’s sure to turn the way you don’t want it.”

17. “Preserve, within a wild sanctuary, an inaccessible valley of reverie.”

18. “After a day of rain the sun came out suddenly at five o’clock and threw a golden bar into the deep Victorian gloom of the front parlour.”

19. “There wouldn’t be half as much fun in the world if it weren’t for children and men, and there ain’t a mite of difference between them under the skins.”

20. “The older I grow the more earnestly I feel that the few joys of childhood are the best that life has to give.”

21. “It was a perfect spring afternoon, and the air was filled with vague, roving scents, as if the earth exhaled the sweetness of hidden flowers.”

22. “Violence commands both literature and life, and violence is always crude and distorted.”

Violence commands both literature and life, and violence is always crude and distorted. - Ellen Glasgow

23. “The worst thing about war is that so many people enjoy it.”

24. “The age is a vociferous one, and no prophet is without honor who is able to strike an attitude and to speak loud enough to make himself heard.”

25. “He knows so little and knows it so fluently.”

26. “I don’t like human nature, but I do like human beings.”

27. “Nothing is so ungrateful as a rising generation; yet, if there is any faintest glimmer of light ahead of us in the present, it was kindled by the intellectual fires that burned long before us.”

28. “A tragic irony of life is that we so often achieve success or financial independence after the chief reason for which we sought it has passed away.”

29. “I liked human beings, but I did not love human nature.”

30. “To seize the flying thought before it escapes us is our only touch with reality.”

31. “Life may take away happiness. But it can’t take away having had it.”

32. “Insolent youth rides, now, in the whirlwind. For those modern iconoclasts who are without culture possess, apparently, all the courage.”

33. “Mediocrity would always win by force of numbers, but it would win only more mediocrity.”

34. “Tilling the fertile soil of man’s vanity.”

35. “A doctrine of endurance flows easily from our lips when we are enduring jam and our neighbors dry bread, and it is still possible for us to become resigned to the afflictions of our brother.”

36. “The attraction of horror is a mental, or even an intellectual, excitement, but the fascination of the repulsive, so noticeable incontemporary writing, can spring openly from some rotted substance within our civilization…”

37. “Passion alone could destroy passion. All the thinking in the world could not make so much as a dent in its surface.”

38. “It is human nature to overestimate the thing you’ve never had.”

39. “True goodness is an inward grace, not an outward necessity.”

40. “Moderation has never yet engineered an explosion.”

41. “After all, you can’t expect men not to judge by appearances.”

After all, you can’t expect men not to judge by appearances. - Ellen Glasgow

42. “I had no place in any coterie, or in any reciprocal self-advertising. I stood alone. I stood outside. I wanted only to learn. I wanted only to write better.”

43. “Dignity is an anachronism.”

44. “Do you know there is always a barrier between me and any man or woman who does not like dogs?”

45. “Experience has taught me that the only cruelties people condemn are those with which they do not happen to be familiar.”

46. “Too much principle is often more harmful than too little.”

47. “Though it sounds absurd, it is true to say I felt younger at sixty than I felt at twenty.”

48. “The hardest thing to believe when you’re young is that people will fight to stay in a rut, but not to get out of one.”

49. “There is no monster more destructive than the inventive mind that has outstripped philosophy.”

50. “The pathos of life is worse than the tragedy.”

51. “Spring was running in a thin green flame over the valley.”

52. “Give the young half a chance and they will create their own future, they will even create their own heaven and earth.”

53. “Words, like acts, become stale when they are repeated.”

54. “Few forms of life are so engaging as birds.”

55. “To drink for pleasure may be a distraction, but to drink from misery is always a danger.”

56. “I have written chiefly because, though I have often dreaded the necessity, I have found it more painful, in the end, not to write.”

57. “No idea is so antiquated that it was not once modern. No idea is so modern that it will not someday be antiquated.”

58. “No, one couldn’t make a revolution, one couldn’t even start a riot, with sheep that asked only for better browsing.”

59. “Life has taught me that the greatest tragedy is not to die too soon but to live too long.”

60. “I waited and worked, and watched the inferior exalted for nearly thirty years; and when recognition came at last, it was too late to alter events, or to make a difference in living.”

61. “I revolted from sentimentality, less because it was false than because it was cruel.”

62. “It is difficult to deal successfully, he decided, with a woman whose feelings cannot be hurt.”

63. “For me, the novel is experience illumined by imagination…”

64. “Happiness is a hardy annual.”

Happiness is a hardy annual. - Ellen Glasgow

65. “The transcendental point of view, the habit of thought bred by communion with earth and sky, had refined the grain while it had roughened the husk.”

66. “Nobody, not even the old, not even the despairing, wished to come to an end in time or in eternity.”

67. “I am inclined to believe that a man may be free to do anything he pleases if only he will accept responsibility for whatever he does.”

68. “No matter how vital experience might be while you lived it, no sooner was it ended and dead than it became as lifeless as the piles of dry dust in a school history book.”

69. “It seems to me that this is the true test for poetry: – that it should go beneath experience, as prose can never do, and awaken an apprehension of things we have never, and can never, know in the actuality.”

70. “Most women want their youth back again; but I wouldn’t have mine back at any price. The worst years of my life are behind me, and my best ones ahead.”

71. “Borrowed illusions are better than none…”

72. “My first reading of Tolstoy affected me as a revelation from heaven, as the trumpet of the judgment. What he made me feel was notthe desire to imitate, but the conviction that imitation was futile.”

73. “Cynicism is a sure sign of youth.”

74. “No one in the modern world is more lonely than the writer with a literary conscience.”

75. “But there is, I have learned, no permanent escape from the past. It may be an unrecognized law of our nature that we should be drawn back, inevitably, to the place where we have suffered most.”

76. “Given two tempers and the time, the ordinary marriage produces anarchy…”

77. “What I hated even more than the conflict was the lurid spectacle of a world of unreason.”

78. “Although the primitive in art may be both interesting and impressive, as portrayed in American fiction it is conspicuous for dullness alone. Drab persons living drab lives, observed by drab minds and reported in drab writing…”

79. “I have little faith in the theory that organized killing is the best prelude to peace.”

80. “It is only in the heart that anything really happens.”

81. “Theories have nothing to do with life…”

82. “The nearer she came to death, the more, by some perversity of nature, did she enjoy living.”

83. “Doesn’t all experience crumble in the end to mere literary material?”

84. “The suitable is the last thing we ever want.”

The suitable is the last thing we ever want. - Ellen Glasgow

85. “And where was happiness if it sprung not from the soil? Where contentment if it dwelt not near to Nature?”

86. “There is only one force stronger than selfishness, and that is stupidity.”

87. “Grandpa says we’ve got everything to make us happy but happiness.”

88. “It would appear, from the best examples, that the proper way of beginning a preface to one’s work is with a humble apology for having written at all.”

89. “If broken hearts could kill, the earth would be as dead as the moon.”

90. “There is a terrible loneliness in the spring…”

91. “America has enjoyed the doubtful blessing of a single-track mind.”

92. “So long as one is able to pose one has still much to learn about suffering.”

93. “I was always a feminist, for I liked intellectual revolt as much as I disliked physical violence. On the whole, I think women havelost something precious, but have gained, immeasurably, by the passing of the old order.”

94. “What was time itself but the bloom, the sheath enfolding experience? Within time, and with time alone, there was life – the gleam, the quiver, the heartbeat, the immeasurable joy and anguish of being…”

95. “The share of the sympathetic publisher in the author’s success – the true success so different from the ephemeral – is apt to be overlooked in these blatant days, so it is just as well that some of us should keep it in mind.”

96. “Youth is the period of harsh judgments, and a man seldom learns until he reaches thirty that human nature is made up not of simples, but of compounds.”

97. “The only natural human beings seem to be those who are making trouble.”

98. “In her abhorrrence of a vacuum, Nature, for the furtherance of her favorite hobby, has often to resort to strange devices. If she could but understand that vacuity is sometimes better than superfluity!”

99. “To teach one’s self is to be forced to learn twice.”

100. “The surest way of winning love is to look as if you didn’t need it.”

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